Cocoa butter is the natural, cream coloured fat which is extracted from cocoa beans during the process of making chocolate. Cocoa beans contain, on average, 75% cocoa butter, and it is this ingredient which gives chocolate its characteristic smooth, creamy mouth feel. The other main product of the cocoa bean, chocolate liquor, a mixture of cocoa butter and cocoa solids, is what gives chocolate its luscious dark richness. Cocoa butter is a primary ingredient in white chocolate, which, because it contains no chocolate liquor, is not really chocolate at all. Manipulating the amount of cocoa butter in a chocolate gives manufacturers great control over its textural and visual qualities.
Besides its use in food, cocoa butter figures in the manufacture of many skin care products, cosmetics and soaps.